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Harry's Peloponnese Guide: Patras, Capital of Achaea Page 3

Ancient Roman Aigeira

70 km east of Patras on the E65 highway lies Roman Aigeira

Classical Aigeira whose name comes from the Greek word for shield, was excavated by the Austrian Archaeological Institute in 1915, 1926 and 1972. The antiquities lie on both sides of the road that goes to Aigai just past a water fountain near a stopping place.

The most significant structure is the Theater, rebuilt during the Roman period, beyond which are a semicircular group of naiskoi in one of which was found a head by the sculptor Eukleidis. A large building from the Hellenistic/Roman periods is to the west, which may have been the bath house of the Gymnasium, as troughs and channels have been found. The climb up to the acropolis, which sits on two terraces, is quite steep, and remains there are more scanty, and include pottery and Mycenaean buildings, as well as a Hellenistic /Roman square with shops.

There are also some architectural fragments and foundations of the 7th century BC which may be from a Temple of Artemis-Iphigeneia, which was mentioned in the writings of Pausanius. Homer referred to the city as 'Hyperesia' in the Iliad. Its inhabitants allegedly repelled a Sikyonian invasion by tying torches to the horns of goats one night, so that they would appear to be reinforcements who had come to help them.

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